Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Remembering Rachel

Two days after we lost Rachel, 3 prayer cards with this image arrived in the mail.  Talk about a welcome sign from heaven:

Following the advice found in After Miscarriage, I put together an album to commemorate Rachel's little life.  Since we lost her so early and have nothing like a grave, hospital bracelet, etc. to put in a memory box, the album suffices.  I inserted all of the cards and notes we received from family and friends, as well as significant dates (positive test, etc.), and the listing of Rachel's memorial Mass from our parish bulletin.  The album will always help us remember Rachel's brief life, and hopefully KB and (hopefully) future siblings to know their sister in heaven.

This past Saturday we had a small memorial Mass for Rachel at our parish.  To our pleasant surprise, many of our friends and family came to the morning Mass (yeah, 8:15 am on a Saturday morning isn't always fun!).  On the West Coast, my brother, sister-in-law, and parents went to a morning Mass there to commemorate Rachel.  Our pastor kindly incorporated prayers from a funeral for a miscarried baby.  He even talked about Rachel in his homily.  The petitions also prayed for couples still waiting for a baby and those who had lost children.

To add even more Providence/wonder, the deacon present at Mass was there to commemorate his daughter, who was murdered in May 1999.  The Mass was supposed to have taken place the previous Monday, but he and his wife forgot and ended up at our Mass.  So there we were, remembering two daughters in heaven.  WOW. 

My friend K, who came to the Mass with her family, penned a touching post recounting the Mass and why we take the time to remember babies who have gone to heaven.  I'm so glad that I read her post without any mascara on. :)

My husband and I feel so blessed to have family and good friends who have consoled us during our ordeal and shown such love!  And thanks to the kind souls in the blogosphere who have been praying for us too. 

P.S.  With the last 3 rather heavy posts, a lighter side post is definitely in order!  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Next Step

Wow.  I was so touched at the comments in my previous post.  Karen has indeed written an incredible book, and I'm elated to see it touched other readers too.

I've had this post floating in my head for a couple weeks, but could never get to the computer to actually compose it.  And as always, life gets in the way too.  How's that for slacking?

Rachel's memorial Mass will take place this Saturday morning.  I'm looking forward to it but also dreading the emotions that may come up.  Thanks to my friend K, we found a special Blessing for Parents Who Have Just Suffered a Miscarriage that my pastor will pray over us at the end of Mass.  Several family and friends have promised to attend the Mass; I am humbled at their willingness to remember Rachel's brief life.

Lately there have been several friends who have announced pregnancies.  I'm very happy for them, but that all familiar twinge of "why can't that be me?" returned with a vengeance.  The especially hard ones are the friends/acquaintances whose babies will come in November, when Rachel would have been born.  Thankfully, a dear friend of mine assured me these feelings are normal. She herself still mourns her miscarried babies from 15 years ago.

A lot of people have asked us (to quote the song from the musical E.vita), "So what happens now?"  Both my OB and NaPro physicians suggested waiting out the miscarriage cycle (similar to a post partum cycle) plus one regular cycle before we can TTC again.  Most critical is giving my body a full cycle to absorb the HCG and stabilize my hormones.

I'm also attempting to lose weight, as my baby weight from the first pregnancy never really came off.  This program has helped me a great deal.  Additionally, we credit my weight loss in 2010 (to meet an adoption BMI requirement) with playing a role in conceiving KB.  Besides, if I'm able to get pregnant again, I want to start with as few pounds as possible.

In any case, we will not assume anything and try to trust in God's plan.  Easier said than done!

KB turned 18 months last week; we can scarcely fathom she is halfway to 2!  Apparently, neither can she: